The Wilson 50 and Wilson Duo were recommended to me by several sources as great balls to play. Over the winter, I presented an infographic on Which Golf Ball is Best for You and this information sparked an interesting conversation about golf balls. The brand of Wilson 50 and Duo were repeatedly mentioned and I decided that I would try these balls and provide a product review.
I had to think of a fair process and ensure my bias for my current golf ball did not influence the results. So, I developed my own methodology for testing these golf balls. The conclusions are mine alone and I am not affiliated with Wilson at this time (one never knows what the future brings). I ran both golf balls through a battery of tests to see if these balls would fit well into my game.
The Wilson Duo is a 2 piece ball designed for distance. It is extremely soft with an ionomer cover, 29 compression and has a seamless 302 dimple pattern. More specs can be found here.
When developing my tests, I tried to cover five basic qualities important in a golf ball. These qualities help me decide which ball to use during various course and weather conditions. Each is special to my game and I try to find a ball that is equally balanced across all five.
An important factor for this review is the temperature differential in my golfing season. In Canada, we have a relatively short season with temperature differentials from 5 to 35 degrees Celsius. Therefore, a ball that responds well in these varying temperatures is extremely important to me.
The methodology I used for each ball is as follows:
Feel – I define feel as how the ball responds to my wedges around the green. Does the ball spring off my club or is it more subtle? I look to be able to spin the ball to reduce the release on chips within 15 yards of the green. Additionally, I listen to the sound the ball makes off my clubs. It is difficult to describe, but I know it when I hear it.
Distance – I am not a long hitter. It is important that any ball respond well to my clubs. I look for 250 yards from my driver, 180 from my 5 iron, 135 yards from my 9 iron, and and 80 yards from my sand wedge. Any ball should meet or exceed these distances for it to be effective in my game.
Control – I hit the ball straight most of the time. Most of my shots have very little draw or fade; however, when I want to add a little shape to my shot, I need a ball that will respond. I like a ball that responds to half shots and knock down approaches to the green. I like a ball I can control!
Temperature.- I played both balls in 7, 15 and 25 degree Celsius temperatures. I made sure that I used both balls for 3 rounds each, regardless of their performance. By using each ball for 3 rounds, I was able to test the balls in real playing conditions. I thought it important to use the balls during play to give them my final seal of approval.
Value – This is simply a cost vs performance ratio. This is a perceived category, but one that ultimately will make me want to purchase more of this model.
I used my 3-6-9 putting and chipping drill to test for feel. I used my playing rounds to test for distance and control. All of these rounds covered the temperature differential, therefore I am confident in my results. Here is what I found out:
- Feel – 5/10
- Distance 6/10
- Control 6/10
- Temperature 8/10
- Value – 7/10
I found the Wilson 50 to be a durable ball that responds well to my golf game. The feel was reasonable considering the ionomer cover. Control was similar to a distance ball. It does respond well to the club face, but I had some challenges putting spin on the ball. I did not lose much distance on the warmer days, but the real value of the Wilson 50 was on the cold days. I found that the Wilson 50 performed extremely well and actually outperformed the more expensive balls during colder days. At a cost of $26 Cdn for 2 dozen, the value was outstanding. I would recommend this ball for mid to high handicap players with a slower swing speed. As a single digit handicap player, I personally plan on using the Wilson 50 during the spring and fall when the temperature variations are unpredictable.
- Feel – 3/10
- Distance – 4/10
- Control – 4/10
- Temperature – 4/10
- Value – 4/10
The Wilson Duo did not fit my game. The soft construction was too soft. The softness of the Duo made it very difficult to control the ball. The softness did not equate into spin on the ball around the green either. I lost distance with this 29 compression ball; I could not seem to achieve the distance with any of my clubs. But in all fairness, this ball is not designed for a player with a higher swing speed. The ball responded the same during all temperature variations. The value of this ball was not there for me. At $26 Cdn a dozen, the value of the Duo was not there for me. I would recommend this ball for a mid to high handicap player with a slow swing speed. I will not use the Wilson Duo in the future because it does not fit my game.
The Wilson 50 and Wilson Duo have their place in the golf ball market. They are designed for players with lower swing speeds and their 2-piece construction with an ionomer cover offers something for most players.
Personally, I will use the Wilson 50 again, especially in the spring and fall. It offers good value versus performance that I search for in a golf ball. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an all-around ball to meet the demands of their game.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!